Motorcycle Driving Safety Tips
TxDOT, other state agencies, and the federal government have litanies of safety tips for both bikers and other vehicle drivers to try and help reduce motorcycle accidents. But reducing accident numbers is more easily said than done. When faced with the real pressures of driving, all the best advice, educational awareness campaigns, and safety intentions sometimes take a back seat to simply coping with wild and congested traffic. Our Houston motorcycle collision attorneys recommend the following safety tips to help you avoid a motorcycle accident on our Texas freeways.
Make Yourself Visible
First and foremost, most authorities agree that you should make yourself as visible as possible to other drivers. Wear light-colored or reflective clothing and helmets; use your headlamps and signals; and use reflective strips or decals on your bike as well. Maintain a visible lane position. Many studies have demonstrated that drivers of larger, enclosed vehicles are too busy keeping wary eyes out for vehicles their own size or larger to notice smaller vehicles or pedestrians. And they routinely perceive the smaller motorcycles as being farther away than they actually are, not leaving enough space on turns for bikes to pass safely.
Be alert to the danger posed by careless drivers of other vehicles. Always give yourself the space and time to react in the event a car fails to yield or a potential accident looms ahead. Make your lane changes gradually: our attorneys note that most crashes occur when a bike is changing direction on a curve, a turn, or shifting lanes. Allow space for emergency braking maneuvers if needed.
Use Your Signals
Always signal your intentions to other drivers. Flash your brake lights when slowing or preparing to stop. Avoid weaving between lanes and slipping through those narrow passages between cars and trucks. It may take some of the fun out of riding, but drivers of larger vehicles won’t expect you to be there and are just as likely to choose the wrong moment to change lanes or shift speed, causing a crash.
The Maryland State Highway Administration and the Texas Department of Public Safety, like other government agencies, have guidelines to help drivers of other vehicles avoid collisions with motorcycles. The Houston motorcycle collision attorneys at Denena Points, PC mention that drivers want to follow these guidelines to help avoid the possible criminal and civil monetary penalties that might follow a crash with a motorcycle.
- Motorcyclists have the same rights as other vehicle drivers. Always allow the motorcyclist a full lane width for travel.
- Be alert as you drive and look for the smaller profile of motorcycles. Watch for bikes at intersections, especially when making left turns. Be aware that the motorcycle may be closer and approaching more quickly than it appears, and always leave plenty of room for the bike to maneuver or stop.
- Check your vehicle’s mirrors and blind spots regularly, especially before changing lanes. Always signal your intentions to turn, merge, change lanes, or stop.
- Never “tailgate” a motorcycle.
- Never drive drowsy, drunk, or distracted.
Contact a Board Certified Houston Motorcycle Attorney Today
If you or a loved one was injured in a Houston motorcycle accident, or if you’d like more information from us, feel free to call us at (713) 807-9500.